Sunday, September 2, 2012

Pucker Up

I've been all science-y for a bit, so I thought I'd call up the "R" side of SFR and delve into something a bit more mooshy.


I love kissing. The whole ritual of it is alluring and tantalizing. But why do we kiss? On the surface, it seems a weird thing to do. I mean, we press the food entry part of our bodies together and suck face. (More or less...oh, you get the drift.)

Somehow, it's instinctual though, isn't it? But is it instinctual to do because of biological or cultural factors? Or a little bit of both?

Kissing has been documented as far back as 1500 B.C. in Sanskrit texts that are the foundation of the Hindu religion. Granted, they didn't use the word "kiss" but, come on, the references to "licking" and "drinking moisture of the lips"? We don't need a literal map to decipher those terms, do we?

Even the Babylonian tablets and the Old Testament talk about greeting and supplication kissing as a way to show affection and endearment to another.

Yep, kissing is recorded all over the ancient world.

Early "scientists" claimed that people found kissing pleasurable because an electrical current generated when two people pressed their lips together. That was a bit crazy, we now know, but it is true that the body releases hormones when people lock lips, inducing a euphoric feeling.

Quick note: Did you know that many animals also kiss? Pretty trippy huh? Chimpanzees, birds, insects, turtles, mules, cats and even elephants.

Scientifically speaking, kissing allows potential mates to test their pheromones for biological compatibility and quality of kissing is an indicator of mating commitment.

Did you know, though, that kissing is healthy for you? It's true! It boosts your immunity and kicks your body into gear to work harder at staying healthy. The extra saliva that kissing produces washes bacteria off your teeth (eew, by the way). Kissing even works the muscles of your face, which keeps you looking younger by keeping the wrinkles and sagging away. Also, kissing can burn up to 2 calories a minute, which is double your metabolic rate.

But, I think the biggest health benefit is the stress management effect. Kissing -- when with someone we care about -- releases the negative energy and helps reset our mental state and enhance our well-being.

Okay, so I ended up going science-y with something mooshy, but isn't that the nature of us SFR writers? We mix our fiction with a little bit of science and a little bit of romance.

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(Images courtesy of photostock /


  1. Great post, A. R.! As romance authors, we think/describe/write about kissing constantly, but I'd never put a lot of thought into the history or biology of kissing before. You did your homework. :)

    1. Thanks Laurie! It was interesting to research, triggered by a question from one of my younger kids.

  2. Interesting post! You said that mating commitment is demonstrated through a kiss... like the Cher song says, "If you want to know if he loves you so, it's in his kiss." LOL!

    1. Oh my goodness, that's so weird because that song kept replaying in my head as I wrote the post!

  3. I can't quite wrap my mind about Elephants kissing with those long trunks to get in the way of their mouths...

    1. I couldn't quite visualize it either, so searched up some images... and they are soooo cute! They tip their heads up, wrap their trunks around each other and lock lips. I'll post an image on the blog so you can see how super cute they are. Plus their hugging images, which almost give their heads the shape of an elongated heart!